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The working class has its own cultural identity – and we must see it on the page

Stories are a key support for each person’s identity, so it’s vital we defend those going unheard and unread – or leave a void to be filled by the far right A few years ago, fresh and excitable, just...

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The Saturday poem: One Night Comes Like a Blessing

by Grace Nichols Like a cruel lover or spiteful mistressNo-Sleep demands my restless attentiveness. No-Sleep prefers me stripped –a dark projectionist Continue reading...

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‘Sex and poetry have always gone together’ – meet Grindr’s new poet in residence

The gay dating app has appointed LGBT writer Max Wallis to be its first resident bard. I’m continuing what Byron started, he says Poetry and sex have a long and venerable history, one often being used...

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Poem of the week: Bury Me in a Free Land by Frances EW Harper

A free African American woman, Harper wrote this intensely felt vision of intolerable injustice for campaigning journal the Anti-Slavery Bugle in 1858 Bury Me in a Free Land Make me a grave where’er...

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Translation Tuesday: Two poems by Kim Ki-taek

An interaction with a strangely familiar cat and an ode to chewing gum, by the acclaimed South Korean poet By Kim Ki-taek, Eun-Mi Yang and Ed Bok Lee for Translation Tuesdays by Asymptote, part of the...

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Unemployed Indigenous poet Ali Cobby Eckermann wins $215,000 literary prize

Australian writer who lives in a caravan in Adelaide says surprise Windham-Campbell award will ‘change my life completely’ Now unemployed and living in a caravan in Adelaide, the Indigenous Australian...

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Simplicity and symbolism in flowers and poems

Wenlock Edge Daisy –daes eage, day’s-eye – a wonderfully simple poetry that has become a complicated symbolic chain-link of love, innocence and death Hazel catkins are limp, in a still brightness they...

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Robert Lowell at 100: why his poetry has never been more relevant

Lowell’s confessional work of the 1960s marked a sea change in American letters – then he fell out of favour. But on the eve of his centenary, his work offers an urgent political message in a time of...

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Brian Dann obituary

My father, Brian Dann, who has died aged 90, was a poet and publisher of poetry, who, with my mother, organised thousands of poetry readings and other cultural activities in south London. Born in...

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Ali Cobby Eckermann's poetry: inspiring those of us who feel like outsiders

The Indigenous poet, one of our greatest writers, has won the Windham-Campbell prize with writing that pierces the heart there are always seeds that thread usand carried on the wind set us apartdoes...

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The Saturday poem: The Cinderella of Ferndale

by Simon ArmitageIt was all about shoes. In that small townthere was hardly a foot she hadn’t dressedor clamped and sized in the Brannock Device,and barely a toe that hadn’t blenchedat the force of her...

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Poem of the week: An Exhortation by PB Shelley

The Romantic poet casts worldly light on his profession in a playful and complex analogy with the chameleon An Exhortation Chameleons feed on light and air: Poets’ food is love and fame: If in this...

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Translation Tuesday: Testament by Ana Luísa Amaral, a poem from mother to...

To mark International Women’s Day, a poem by the award-winning Portuguese poet Amaral, containing a message for generations of women in a family By Ana Luísa Amaral and Margaret Jull Costa for...

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The Bughouse by Daniel Swift review – Ezra Pound, antisemitic and in the asylum

Pound’s arraignment for treason and spell in a psychiatric hospital is a great subject, so why write such an annoying book? “The only poetry,” Socrates argues in Plato’s The Republic, “that should be...

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Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry review – deeply moving study of loss

A rising poet draws on Freud in a piercing, highly intelligent interrogation of her response to her mother’s deathEmily Berry’s second collection opens with an epigraph from Sigmund Freud. “The loss of...

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The Accusation by Bandi review – forbidden stories from inside North Korea

Written in secret between 1989 and 1995 and smuggled out of the country in 2013, these short works offer powerful insights into a world behind walls This collection has an extraordinary origin story....

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The Saturday poem: At Peckham Rye

by Clare Pollard Lately, I see through a narrow chink in a stairgate.I see doors and think: can I get my pram through that?In the park, I dole out small snacks –ricecake, popped grapes, elven cheeses....

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Jacob Polley: ‘I’m a fool as a writer – you have to take risks’

This year’s TS Eliot prize winner on the freedom of his Cumbrian childhood and making a living from poetry ‘Jackself and Jeremy Wren are setting / nightlines in the kidney-coloured pool … ” From the...

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Poem of the week: Animal Rescue by Antony Dunn

It is not the moths, newts, sheep or spiders that are most in need of rescue in this elegant and wry poem Animal Rescue To say nothing of all the moths and waspsI’ve been opening windows for; Continue...

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Still Life With Feeding Snake by John Burnside review – master of the...

Levity and gravity make perfect bedfellows in the Scottish poet’s 15th collectionThe words “still life” and John Burnside do not belong together. I imagine the unattributed painting he beautifully...

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